By Tunji Olalekan Sanni
As the 2020 NBA election heats up, like in previous elections, the dynamics will continue to change as the D-Day draws closer. Alignments and realignments will continue even up to the day of the election.
The Universal Suffrage introduced in the NBA elections in 2015 has remarkably changed how winners in the NBA Elections emerge. Post 2015 NBA elections are similar in many ways and different in many ways. The 2020 elections will have a lot in common with previous elections and differ too in a lot of ways; the differences are the crux of this writing. There are some factors which might have influenced elections previously but such may not count in the 2020 election.
Since 2015, all the presidential candidates adopted by regional bodies failed in their bid to lead Africa’s largest Bar Association. It is likely to remain like that. In fact, the practice of adoption has become a baggage for the beneficiaries. The relevance of adoption has been killed and buried in NBA elections. The Presidency of the NBA is zoned to the West which includes Edo, Delta and the other six Western States. There is an indication from the grapevine that the lawyers from the West will rally around one of the candidates from the SouthWest who was not adopted by any regional body in the West.
In 2018, pre election polls became popular in NBA elections. It is still popular and has created some form of engagement on social media. However, it has been tainted by manipulations which have affected the credibility of the polls. More polls will be seen as the election draws closer but they will never impact the outcome of the elections. One of the reasons the social media polls will not count especially on Facebook is the new feature of Facebook that displays the profiles of voters; this discourages a lot of people from voting. More than 50% of voters in NBA Elections do not publicly disclose their candidates until they cast their votes. Again, at this time in the process, apart from the supporters directly involved in the campaign for their candidates, 60% of voters who think they will vote for one candidate usually end up voting for another on the Election Day.
As the second quarter of 2020 begins, candidates will begin to organize parties and cocktails across the country. Lawyers are expecting them. At this time in the history of the NBA, lawyers are becoming increasingly aware of what they want and how they want it. Many will attend the cocktails regardless of who is organizing it. They will appear in parties of candidates contesting for the same position, they may even take money and gifts but will still vote for their candidate. He who pays the piper will not dictate the tune in this election.
NON SAN Sentiment:
The sentiment of supporting a non SAN in the election will not count in this election. The non SAN sentiment would have been an advantage for the non SANs contesting for the Presidency of the NBA if one of the candidates who is a SAN and a Doctor of Law was not in the race. His presence in the contest has changed the game and subdued that sentiment. Lawyers are beginning to desire more from the leadership of the NBA and they are more likely to overlook the non SAN sentiment in this election. Any narrative promoting the Non SAN sentiment will meet a brick wall.
Lagos will not count in this election. Of course, Lagos will count since politics is a game of numbers but the influence of Lagos in the next election will be drastically reduced. Lagos will not be the beautiful bride in this election and that is what we mean by Lagos not counting. In previous elections, Lagos has given about of 2/5 of all votes. It is almost impossible for anyone to become the President of the NBA without Lagos votes. Unfortunately, all the candidates running for the NBA Presidency are from branches in Lagos State- Ikeja and Lagos which are two of the biggest branches of the NBA. Lagos will be deeply divided and the votes from other smaller branches will become bullish.
Tunji Olalekan Sanni